Meghan MarkleThis is the latest celebrity in a long line of people who are rumored or running for office. But could her royal title stop her from running? Could an obscure rule stop her? Let’s break it down.
Is This Amendment a Disqualification for Her?
Could a constitutional amendment that dates back 211 years prevent the duchess of being able to run for president? This amendment was written in 1810 to bar anyone who receives “a title of nobility bestowed from a foreign power” from holding office, according to experts.
This was initially proposed to stop French leader Napoleon’s nephew from seeking political power. Napoleon’s brother married American socialite Elizabeth Patterson, and many speculated that their son would run for office.
It’s a centuries-old amendment that was technically never ratified, but amendments never expire and some are wondering if it will be revived if the duchess announces a 2024 presidential run. Markle has not officially stated that she plans to run for office. However, biographer Tom Bower has previously claimed the prospect of a presidential campaign was “possible and I’d even say likely.”
Markle’s Political Efforts
Markle’s recent political activities are only adding fuel to this fire. In an effort to influence a $1.75 billion infrastructure plan, the duchess has made paid parent leave her cause. She also penned an open letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pleading for it to be made a ‘national right’.
“Britain has a very strong tradition of keeping royals out of politics and so this is perhaps more intrusive than anything a royal would dare to do in Britain,” Bower said. “Meeting with senators to lobby for a bill – this is her injecting herself into US politics.”
Some have accused the duchess, who is using her title in an inappropriate way, of being a liar. Some of the politicians she’s contacted have said that she introduced herself as the Duchess of Sussex, which many see as a political tactic that might lend credence to the idea that she’s running for president. Others argue that she is entitled to the title duchess because it is her legal name, which she changed when she married Prince Harry.
Can she legally run?
Experts in constitutional law say there is no reason she cannot run for the presidency under her title, even though there isn’t precedent. It would retain the 12 favorable votes that it received in 1810, but it would require 26 more states to ratify the amendment before it could become law.
While Markle has not officially stated whether or not she is considering any political run, many hope to see her name on the ballot in the next few years. We’ll all just have to wait and see what her plans are.